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Building Resilience: A Guide for Teenagers

Life is hard, there is simply no way to lie about that. With the influx of comments coming from social media, parents, peers at school, and numerous other external sources, we must know how to separate our views and goals about ourselves from what everybody else has to say. This world is full of amazing people, who will always be by your side. Unfortunately, it is also full of people who are jealous and full of greed and although it may not seem like it, those who act like your “ friends”, in reality don't always want the best for you and can lead you in the wrong direction. It is critical especially in your years as a teenager, to know your values and where you want to go in life. This may seem like a huge task because we often hear the term “midlife crisis”, showing that even when you're 30 years old you can still be trying to figure out what you want to do. While you don't need to have every single detail figured out, during your years as a teenager you should try to get a grasp of what is important to you, and ask what foundations you want to live by. During our teenage years, we can be extremely naive without even realizing it. If we do not stand firm in our values we can be tossed around and end up in situations that may harm our future.

Because of this, resilience should become a key focus for anyone working through this difficult time. Resilience is the ability to rebound from troublesome situations, and to be able to not succumb, but instead thrive in the face of adversity. It's a quality that can help us to bounce back from setbacks, small or large, persevere when we face struggles, and as a result help us achieve our goals. Life is not a straight line, it is full of ups and downs. You must understand that success and your value is not determined by how many times you win, but by how many times you get up from failing. While this may seem cliché, it's true. Throughout life, you will face people, tests, jobs, Financial struggles, and more that will make you feel like everything you know is being turned upside down. However, it is in those moments, that you need to remember what your goal is, and the future that you want for yourself and those you love. That desire and motivation for wanting to create a better version of yourself, not only for you in the present but for you and your loved one in the future, will be the basis of your resilience. This resilience stems from knowing that you are unique and that it is a major blessing that you were born on this earth. Once you can truly understand how special and valuable you are not only to those you love but to society as a whole, you will be extremely tough to knock down.

Oftentimes, especially with the use of social media, it is common to feel like we are not enough. We may feel that no matter how much we have been trying we will never be able to be like “that” person on social media, or that “genius” that you read about in books. In those moments, you must realize that they too were once beginners, and it is through numerous failed attempts, never giving up, and building their resilience that they got to where they are now. In addition, as you are building up your courage, strength, and resilience, you have to remember that it does not happen overnight. Finding who you are, and your motivation that will keep you going even through the toughest times is not an easy task. It may take days, months, weeks, and even years for you to find that motivator. Furthermore, as you are building your resilience, you also begin to embrace numerous other amazing qualities. You will begin to become more humble, generous, and understanding of those around you. You will begin to realize that everyone around you has their struggles, but by being able to connect with those that they feel safe around and talk about their struggles, they're able to gain resilience and push through tough times. One must understand that talking about their struggles does not make them weak, but it makes them even that much stronger because it shows that they have the strength to be vulnerable and honest. In turn, when they are helped after being vulnerable, it makes them feel as though they are truly special and increases their idea of how valuable they are. Every day you have the opportunity to put a smile on your face as well as the faces of others around you, being optimistic is the number one step to building resilience. The brain is the most powerful thing you control in life, and when you slowly begin to believe and tell yourself that you will get through whatever tough time you are having, or any struggle that you may be facing, you have already conquered half the battle.

It should be noted that your mental state is not the only aspect in your struggles. Physical health is also an important component of resilience. Exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep can all help to reduce stress and boost our energy levels, making it easier to cope with difficult situations. In addition, when those around you see you building your resilience after facing tough times, they too will begin to feel inspired and want to change their lives for the better and push through whatever they may be facing. By acquiring an optimistic mindset, creating strong and supportive social connections, prioritizing physical health, and practicing self-care, we can become more resilient, mentally and physically, and gain the strength to handle any challenge that comes our way with confidence.


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